It's no secret the materials used in inflatable products are perhaps not the most environmentally friendly, but used correctly, and built to last, there can be a sustainable solution.
We asked Aquaglide, one of the top brands globally to give us the run down on how they aim towards a more sustainable brand.
At Aquaglide, we build products that are designed to get folks outside in nature. To say outdoor spaces are at the core of everything we do is an understatement. Unfortunately, human-induced climate change threatens the places we love so dearly – and as a team of passionate paddlers and outdoorspeople, we could no longer wait to take action. So over the past year, we have rebuilt the mission of Aquaglide to focus not only on paddlers and people – but also, the planet. We are a small team, but aim to take every step we can to limit our negative impact and maximize our positive change. By doing so, we hope to inspire others within our community to become advocates for our natural spaces along the way.
We are continually working to improve our processes and products, pushing for changes across all aspects of our business and supply chain, often asking questions that have never been asked before. While we’re far from perfect and still have room to grow, we strive to be better every day, making sure each step is moving forward and in the right direction.
So, just how are we becoming more sustainable? Here are some steps we have taken so far at Aquaglide.
- We’ve begun offsetting our carbon footprint via EcoCart donations (an algorithm that calculates the carbon cost of online orders). In 2021, we offset over 115,000 lbs of carbon.
- We utilize 100% post-consumer recycled packaging. This means all of the cardboard that our goods arrive in is made of recycled materials.
- In our ultralight product line, we utilize TPU, or Thermoplastic Polyurethane. TPU is an advanced material that is much more environmentally friendly than alternatives such as PVC, since TPU is recyclable and biodegradable in 3 – 5 years.
- We’ve implemented a manufacturing code of conduct to ensure our product is ethically made.
- We offer industry-leading warranties across our product lines.
- We are compliant with REACH Restricted Substances List (RSL) and beginning to implement AFIRM RSL to reduce the use of harmful substances and chemicals in our supply chain.
- We embrace remote work and technology to reduce our need for travel – this includes limiting international/cross-country travel.
- By relying on welding our products, we both reduce use of toxic adhesives and create a product that is more durable.
- We are committed to building products that last, and are designed to be repaired, not thrown away. At every step, our aim is to encourage products that will last users a lifetime.
While we are incredibly proud of what we’ve accomplished so far, there’s still so much work to be done, and we have some lofty goals for the future. Here’s where we are focusing our future efforts.
- We are working towards 100% carbon neutrality. We have taken steps to begin this process, starting by offsetting emissions of our paddlesports products, and are currently conducting a more in depth study of our carbon footprint.
- We aim to lessen packaging material waste, via higher-recycled content, less polybag plastic, and alternatives to traditional plastic packaging.
- We are exploring sustainable alternatives to all of our boat materials, utilizing advanced, recently developed materials such as TPU. We will remain on the cutting edge of new sustainable technologies.
- We plan to streamline and refine logistics and transport to reduce redundancy and increase efficiency, which will in turn reduce emissions.
- We aim to further encourage diversity and inclusion in the outdoors through programs and support focusing on underrepresented communities.
As always, we strive to be transparent in all we do. We will continue to update our sustainability practices as we learn and grow. And most importantly, we want to hear from you. Send us a note, reach out, or wave to us on the water, and let us know if you have any suggestions on efforts or ways to become more sustainable in the water sports industry. In the meantime, be kind to Mother Earth – she’s our one and only.